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About me

I have been providing legal services in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties continuously since 1975.


I have an undergraduate degree in accounting from Indiana State University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University, where I graduated cum laude and won honors in the areas of income taxation and estate and gift taxation. I graduated from law school in 1973. I was a member of the legal fraternity of Phi Delta Phi and president of the local chapter at Indiana University Law School in 1972-73. In law school I was a recipient of the Dean Faust Award and received awards and honors in income taxation and estate and gift taxation.


I was previously licensed as a Certified Public Accountant. I served as an intern at Price Waterhouse & Company, on the audit staff of Peat, Marwick Mitchell & Company, and with the tax staff of Arthur Andersen & Company. I have also been an instructor for the Becker CPA Review Course. Although I have an extensive background in accounting, I retired my license to practice as a CPA to devote my time and energy entirely to the practice of law, specializing in estate planning, trusts, Medi-Cal planning, and probate.


I have served as president of the Santa Clara County Easter Seal Society for one year and on its board of directors for five years. I was also a member of the Order of Saint John, Queen’s Club, Letterman’s Club, and Elk’s Club.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Trusts: 30%
    40 years
  2. Estate Planning: 25%
    40 years
  3. Medicaid & Medicare: 20%
    40 years
  4. Elder Law: 20%
    40 years
  5. Probate: 5%
    40 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

12 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • John Dudley Laughton

    I have known Roy for over a decade and have had the opportunity to both work with and refer clients to him for estate planning and Medi-Cal qualification. Roy has a superb knowledge of both estate planning and tax matters as both a highly experienced lawyer and a background as a CPA. He has a wonderful sense of humor which contributes to his ability to educate and effectively communicate with his clients. I strongly endorse Roy without reservation.


    John Laughton Estate planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Michael Davidov

    I've known Roy for several years through our affiliation in a national estate planning organization. Roy is an expert estate planner and elder law attorney. I highly recommend him without a doubt.


    Michael Davidov Estate planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Offices of Roy W. Litherland

9057 Soquel Drive, Bldg B, Suite D
Aptos, CA, 95003



We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
FellowAmerican Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys2013
Certified Legal Specialist Estate Planning, Trust & Probate LawCalifornia State Bar Board of Legal Specialization2012
FellowAmerican Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys2008
Certified Legal Specialist Estate Planning, Trust & Probate LawCalifornia State Bar Board of Legal Specialization2007
Certified Legal Specialist Estate Planning, Trust & Probate LawCalifornia State Bar Board of Legal Specialization2002
Graduated cum laudeIndiana University1973
Won honors in income taxation & estate and gift taxationIndiana University1973
Dean Faust AwardIndiana University1973
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Attorney and OwnerLaw Offices of Roy W. Litherland1975 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysMember2003 - Present
Californai Advocates for Nursing Home ReformMember2002 - Present
American Academy of Elder Law AttorneysMember and Designated Fellow1998 - Present
California Bar AssociationMember1975 - Present
Life Care Planning Law Firms AssociationCharter Member2010 - 2010
Santa Clara County Bar AssociationMember1975 - 2012
Phi Delta Phi legal fraternityPresident of Indiana University local chapter1972 - 1973
Phi Delta Phi legal fraternityMember1971 - 1973
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Medi-Cal PlanningQualified Wife for Medi-Cal and Saved Estate for Family
Difficult Medi-Cal Planning Situation ResolvedInheritance did not interfere with Medi-Cal Qualification; preserved inherited money for use by Nursing Home Resident and when Nursing Home Resident passes away, inheritance will pass to her heirs protected from Medi-Cal recovery
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Indiana University School of Law, IndianapolisLawJD - Juris Doctor1973
Indiana UniversityAccountingBS - Bachelor of Science1968
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Sunnyvale Community Services Special EventLiving Trusts2016
Long and Winding Road IIIMedi-Cal Planning2016
Evening Soiree Spring 2016Medi-Cal Planning2016
Valley Golden AgersMedi-Cal Plannng2015
The Long and Winding Road II: Multi-Topic Conference for Parents of an Adult Child with Developmental DisabilitiesMedi-Cal Planning2015
PFAC Continuing Education CourseMedi-Cal Planning2015
The Long and Winding RoadMedi-Cal Planning2014
Parent MeetingSpecial Needs Trusts2014
Aging Boomers Radio Show/PodcastQualify for Medicaid and Medi-Cal Benefits2014
Parents Helping ParentsMedi-Cal Planning Workshop2013
El Camino Hospital Retirees Monthly MeetingWhat Your Estate Plan Doesn't Have, But Should Have2013
Senior GroupMedi-Cal Planning2012
Living Trust SeminarLiving Trusts2012
FPA Far West Roundup Financial Advisor ConferenceMedi-Cal Planning2012
Educational Seminars and WorkshopsLiving Trusts2012
Saratoga Senior CenterMedi-Cal Planning2011
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union - Speaker SeriesEstate Planning Seminar - What You Should Know About Living Trusts2011
Retired Public Employees Assn Chapter MeetingMedi-Cal Planning2011
NAMI Santa Clara General MeetingSpecial Needs Trusts2011
Caregiver GroupMedi-Cal Planning and VA Benefits2011
Alzheimer's Caregiver GroupMedi-Cal Planning2011
Adobe Wells Mobile Home Community Special MeetingLiving Trust Seminar2011
Willow Glen Rotary General MeetingWhat Your Estate Plan Doesn't Have But Should Have2010
Santa Clara County Federal Credit UnionLiving Trust Seminar2010
Santa Clara County Child Support Services General MeetingWhat Your Estate Plan Doesn't Have But Should Have2010
San Jose Area Home EconomistsWhat Your Estate Plan Doesn't Have But Should Have2010
O'Conner 89ersWhat Your Estate Plan Doesn't Have But Should Have and Tax Law Update2010
Mended Hearts Group General Meeting - Kaiser Santa ClaraMedi-Cal Planning2010
City of San Jose Retirees Monthly Meeting, August 2010Living Trusts2010
Woodside Terrace, Redwood City, Brookdale Senior LivingThings Your Trust Might Not Have and the Legal Ramifications of Medical Directions and Health Care Powers of Attorney2009
San Jose Retired Employees AssociationMedi-Cal Planning2009
KeyPoint Credit UnionLiving Trust Seminar2008
American Heart Association of Santa Cruz CountyLiving Trust Seminar2008